Friday, June 22, 2007

Big Girls You Are Beautiful!

Yes it's Mika with his latest video!

Joy Nash on the Mike and Juliet Show

Joy Nash on the Mike and Juliet Show! and let me tell you, Joy and the inimitable Kelly Bliss made she-who-must-not-be-named look like ... like ... well I can't use that word here but watch the portion of the video that I was able to pull off the web and you will see what I mean!

One Day Sale at Catherines

Shop the Customer Appreciation Sale on June 24 and
save 40% on regular-price items. No coupon required.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It’s Hawaii theme today at Lee Lee’s valise, the new boutique catering exclusively to women wearing size 10-30. When I called Lisa to talk about her new Carroll Gardens based business (that’s in Brooklyn, New York for you out-of-towners), I could hear the ukulele playing in the background. Lisa’s assistant had just run out for lunch and of course I felt compelled to listen to the conversations that Lisa was having with her customers whenever she needed to put me on hold. You call it eavesdropping? I call it investigative bloggerism.

Lisa has a vibrant personality and greets everyone who walks in the door cheerfully and with an offer for personal attention while they shop – no matter what size that person might wear, “after all, I don’t know if they are shopping for their mother, their sister or a friend. A woman came in just the other day; I fit people all day long so I could immediately see that she was smaller than a size 10. She came in to Lee Lee’s to find something for her sister and then she saw something she liked for herself. A few days later I had it here in her size, special order. We are here for the community.”

I asked Lisa if she had ever been given the cold shoulder while she was shopping and if that influenced her open-door policy to all sizes. “Absolutely,” she told me, “many times I have been completely ignored by sales staff while I watched them be attentive to thinner customers. They have a “you’re wasting my time” attitude. I don’t believe it’s an issue with poor customer service because any shopkeeper would want a happy customer; they want to sell you something before you walk out that door. It’s sizeism – I have no doubt.”

Lisa speaks enthusiastically about how much fun shopping should be. “I started this whole thing to be the kind of place where I wanted to shop,” she told me. “You shouldn’t be worried about whether or not something will fit. Some women are afraid to come out of the dressing room because they don’t want anyone to see that something doesn’t fit well but I tell them that they have to let me see so I can help. If you come here, you’ll walk out with an outfit that’s right for your body.”

Lisa is getting a reputation with her customers for her warm shoulder. “Shy people, boisterous people; I can work with everyone. They stop by to say hi on their way home from work. One woman needed a dress for her step-daughters’ wedding, she was getting divorced, she was crying – it was a very emotional time shopping for that dress. Everyone in the shop helped her find an outfit, in fact two outfits, and then she couldn’t find a pair of shoes to match so I gave her a pair off my own feet to wear at the wedding. My customers are family.”

Lisa was a web site designer for many years but she feels that this is much more gratifying. “I feel like this is what I was meant to do. Let’s make you as gorgeous as we can. Let’s dress you. Let’s see your body shape. Maybe an empire waist isn’t good for you. Not everyone is heavy in the same area. Arm issues, some women want to hide their butts. These are the same issues that thin women face every time they go shopping but heavy women are made to feel ashamed. Plus-size women have as much right to feel good about fashion. I say be proud of those curves!”

Lisa thinks that there are a few reasons why women with fuller figures feel more comfortable trying on clothes at Lee Lee’s Valise than elsewhere. “Partly it’s having the attention of a personal shopper, something that many of my customers have never experienced. Also, I made sure that the dressing rooms are larger for larger bodies; they are comfortable with fans and an Italian Tuscan theme.”

“Shopping for a new outfit should be fun not depressing. I want my customers to feel good when they come here and that begins by seeing the clothes in the store window on mannequins in sizes 16/18 and 20/22. That’s the reason why I chose my store name; because it sounds like a boutique. I didn’t want to use words like voluptuous or tons-o-fun because regular, fashionable women shop here. My weight doesn’t have to be announced over the front door.”

Lee Lee’s features some very stylish designers on the racks such as Trentacosta, Jessica Svoboda, B & Lu and the very new and trendy plus-size company out of LA, Fashion Overdose.

Alterations are available and coming soon will be “Jim’s Corner,” so named for her very supportive husband and others like him, which will feature a television, a lounge chair and an espresso machine.

I know that my husband will appreciate Jim’s Corner when we make our way down to Brooklyn so that I can have a Lee Lee’s Valise experience. I can hardly wait. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

The name Lee Lee's Valise originated from Lisa's childhood. When she was a child she would always spend her Christmas vacation in Long Island with her Aunt Theresa and Uncle Mickey and their children. After celebrating Christmas in Midwood, the whole group would trek into midtown to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show. Lisa would always pack her clothes in her grandfather's battered valise and her Uncle Mickey would have to lug it to the city and on the train to Long Island. One year, Uncle Mickey (who worked for the Port Authority) thought it would be a good idea to put the valise in a locker to be picked up after the show but little Lee Lee was devastated. "My valise, my valise….Uncle Mickey they are going to steal my valise and all my new clothes and toys…oh no… valise!" Poor Uncle Mickey had to leave the show to get Lee Lee's valise so she could know that her clothes were safe. To this day, her cousins still tease her and ask "Lee Lee…where's your valise?"

Well, now Lisa can tell them that her valise is 368 Court Street at the corner of President Street, in Brooklyn, New York, and is open from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. for your shopping pleasure. Lisa can be reached directly at 1-718-246-LEES (5337) and online at Lee Lee's Valise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Joy Nash on Fox "News"

Did you watch the interview with Joy Nash on Greta van Susteren last night? I was very pleased that she was being interviewed nationwide and that they showed great clips from her video, which can be seen here: A Celebration of Curves: Joy Nash. Watch her funny and inspiring fat rant!

I have one question. With Greta's big fat salary and her big fat team of research assistants to write her questions for her, why is it that she felt the need to point out several times that Joy is fat, ask if Joy has tried to lose weight, why is Joy fat, does Joy exercise and does being fat run in Joy's family? It seemed to me at one point she almost dared Joy to defend making a video that excuses the "health risks" of being fat by saying that it's not a big deal.

I thought that Joy was beautiful, spoke very calmly and remained poised throughout.

I must say that overall I was disappointed with the interview. I really wanted to know more about Joy and I think Greta blew it in terms of being a good interview.

People if I had a DVR I would have uploaded it to You Tube by now. I'm hoping someone will soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Mars is in Retrograde

I really am a lucky woman. I know that I am...and yet...I still find things to complain about.

Reasons why I am so lucky:

1. I live in the wealthiest country in the world - go ahead England I dare you to put up your plumbing against ours - I promise you our pipes rule!

2. I have a husband who cares about what I want and who listens to my opinions. We're talking big hunk of wonderful man here people. And he wins every tug-of-war. Honest. He's got muscles that go on forever. Niiiiiice.

3. I have access to excellent dental care. Again England...take note.

4. I weigh more today than when we met and he tells me that he doesn't notice and that I am still the most beautiful woman in the world. You see what I mean?

What made me so angry yesterday that I told above mentioned angel of a husband that I was leaving after eight months of marriage and four years of being together. Honestly, I'm not sure. My temp assignment ended early and I was feeling blue but it wasn't his fault so why did I take it out on him? I guess because he was there. I won't be leaving him but sometimes that's how I feel in the middle of a fight. Like it's hopeless and that there's no point in talking so I'm leaving.

I know that if I tell him that I'm angry, while I'm angry, that we are going to fight. But if I wait until I'm not angry anymore I won't feel like telling I crank up the beeotch meter to eleven and let him have it. It's not like he didn't do anything to get my panties in a twist...oh he did something all right. He left a dish in the sink instead of putting it in the dish washer for one thing and then he left a beer bottle on the counter and didn't put it in the recycling! See he deserved something. It's just that he didn't deserve the Spanish Inquisition and no one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Whoops - how did Monty Python get in here? Get thee back to England knave! Back to your inferior plumbing and disdain for dental hygiene.

See what I mean? What did England do to deserve my cyber fury? I'm gonna take a hot bath and cook my husband a please-don't-stay-mad-at-me dinner.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Monif C. Boutique Grand Opening

Monif C. opens the first plus size contemporary clothing boutique next week. This is very exciting news.

I absolutely love Monif's designs. They are contemporary without being too trendy -- these clothes are meant to be staples in your wardrobe and you will wear them for several seasons, she uses quality material and really understands how to sew a seam to hug a curve. Monif is a delightful person to spend time with and the opening of her boutique is a tremendous step forward in full figured fashion. If you are in the New York area I encourage you to stop by during the opening weekend festivities. I know I'll be there!

I'll share the press release that I received:

Monif C. Announces the Grand Opening of their
New York Plus Size Boutique

NEW YORK, NY - June 1, 2007, Monif C. changes the way New York plus
size fashionistas shop with Manhattan's first contemporary clothing
boutique catering to curvy, confident, and stylish plus size women.
Thursday June 14, 2007 marks the Grand Opening of the Monif C. Plus
Sizes Boutique in Midtown Manhattan. Monif C. Plus Sizes is a
contemporary, designer clothing line that was launched in September
2005. Co-owned by mother/daughter team, Monif and Elaine Clarke,
Monif C. was conceived to reaffirm every woman's desire for an
inspired life, luxury, and unadulterated sex appeal.

Known for her debut during Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005, and
features on The View, BET's Rip The Runway, the Tyra Banks Show, and
TLC's What Not To Wear, among others, Monif C. is bringing fashion to
plus size consumers who would otherwise have no outlet to get their
contemporary fashion fix. Monif's line of sexy, stylish dresses for plus size
women can be purchased online at Monif C., in specialty boutiques worldwide, and now live and in full color at the Monif C. Plus Sizes New York Boutique.

Monif Clarke created Monif C. as a result of her own frustrations with
the fashion industry's view of the plus-size market. "There is a new
perspective amongst plus size women that says, "I can be
sophisticated, sexy, and I want to show off my curves. I wanted to
create plus sized clothing that even "skinny" women would want to
buy." Who says plus sizes can't be sexy, luxurious, and feminine?

After successfully creating the Curvy Girls Night Out, a New York City
one-day shopping and pampering event held twice a year, Monif C. would
get calls from many customers pleading for the opportunity to shop
Monif C. year round in New York City. As a plus size woman herself,
Monif understood the frustration of shopping in the New York City
area. "I always wondered why in one of the fashion capitals in the
world I could never find stylish plus size clothing. I am my customer,
and I know that we are stylish, fashion-forward women that are on the go.
We want to be able to come in, and buy a dress to wear to a special
event later that evening. We wanted to provide women in the tri-state
area and visiting tourists the convenience of shopping the Monif C. line."

At the Monif C. Plus Sizes Boutique, customers will be able to shop
the entire Monif C. line as well as jewelry, large size shoes, body-
shaping undergarments, and accessories hand-picked by Monif C.
herself. Gold drapery, beaded Indian silks, and a white crystal
chandelier highlight the décor of the boutique and complement the
vibrant colors and opulence of the Monif C. line. Curvy women will be
delighted to shop in a chic, upscale boutique where they can shop for
beautiful clothing made specifically for them.

Grand Opening Event:
Thursday June 14, 2007
7 - 10pm
Come shop the Monif C. line at 20% off, cocktails, music, personal
shopping tips, and more!

Monif C. Plus Sizes
New York Plus Size Boutique Store
325 W. 38th Street (bet. 8/9th aves.)
Suite 1007
New York, NY 10018
Open Monday - Saturday, call 212-842-1641 for hours

Monday, June 4, 2007

I Like Fat People

I very much appreciate your recent comments on my previous post. Each of you has been insightful and I very much enjoy that you express yourself intelligently and calmly, even when there is disagreement. I think that says a lot about this community.

Size discrimination is such a hot topic and even though there is a great deal of hysteria in the media about obesity I am genuinely amazed that this woman (whose name I won't mention again) spouting virulent hate speech is getting airtime. Perhaps I am naïve.

Sizeism goes far beyond health matters. I walk into a store and a salesperson will take it upon themselves to let me know that they don't carry my size. I might be shopping for someone else, I might be a fashion student just looking for inspiration, who knows...but it's like they want me out of the store because they don't want any fatties in there.

Generally I wear a size 18. I am about the same size and weight as Joy Nash whose video I have posted here a couple of times. I am bigger than an X-Large in most stores and I am happy when I look in the mirror. I like my shape and I am not desperate to lose weight. There is no heart disease or diabetes or cancer in my family which just means that I am genetically lucky. Thin does not necessarily equal healthy and fat does not necessarily equal unhealthy.